Thursday, April 17, 2014

Chicken Kabobs... and Plan B

My husband and I recently completed Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University through our church, and we met some fun friends in the process.  (Side note: The course is worth it for the lessons on insurance and investing alone.)  Last night we had the two couples with whom we were paired for the course over for dinner, and it was awesome!  The plan was to grill, and what a great plan it was!  Then our grill got buried in white stuff.  That's right- April 16th, and a sudden snow.  Welcome to Minnesota.  Fortunately, we had a Plan B: The Pampered Chef Double Burner Grill Pan!  Read on to see how completely salvaged our menu!

Chicken Kabob Marinade

1 pack Italian salad dressing mix
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. pressed garlic
1 tbsp. honey

Whisk all ingredients together, and marinate meat and vegetables a minimum of 3 hours.  (Overnight is great.) 

Intended ratio: 1 lb. chicken / 5 different vegetables / 1 recipe marinade

Note: My meat/vegetable-to-marinade ratio was way off, so I think I ended up with something a lot milder than intended.  I didn't realize it until I was already marinating everything.  Oh, well. 

As always, everything is measured before adding it to the Stainless Mixing Bowl.  I'm using a Measuring Spoon, a Measuring Cup, the Easy Read Mini Measuring Cup, an Easy Read Measuring Cup, and the Garlic Press.  That's the Large Cutting Board, as always.  Then I'll whisk everything with the Stainless Whisk, one of my favorite tools ever!

You know what I love?  Beautiful vegetables.  My mushrooms are in a Stainless Mesh Colander, and you can see the Bamboo Grinder Set ready to go.  How about being able to tell when you're almost out of salt or pepper before, well, you're out of salt or pepper?

Tip: If you're only using half of your bell pepper, leave the seed bulb intact in the reserved half.  It makes it last longer.  Background: 5" Santoku Knife from the Forged Cutlery Collection.  Best.  Knife.  Ever.

Does it not just make you happy to see your healthy dinner coming together?  Veggies are in a Stainless Mixing Bowl with a Mix 'n Scraper, and chicken is in the Classic Batter Bowl with a second Mix 'n Scraper.  Marinate away, delicious food!

Whoa - I stirred in a pound of mushrooms.  Things just got real.

This was the point when I realized the snow wasn't stopping, and I might not be able to get to the grill by the time I needed to cook.  Can you see how hard it's coming down out the window?  Can you see that my grill is already covered?  Yep.

The BBQ Skewer Set comes with four skewers, and they're loooong.  As in, "Thank you, Stoneware Bar Pan for being awesome" long.  I made sure six skewers would fit, and then I portioned my chicken where the Large Cutting Board's well could catch any juices.  P.S. Those are food handling gloves.  So handy for jobs like skewering raw chicken!

These look good!  I put them in the oven and used the broiler for about 15 minutes.  Then I finished them in the Grill Pan because I wanted grilled kabobs.

The Double Burner Grill Pan and a set of Chef's Tongs will be your best friends if you want the grilling experience minus the grill.  Live in an apartment where you're not allowed to have one on your deck?  Problem solved.

I grilled vegetables, too!  My plan was to do these on the Grill Tray out back, but this worked and made the house smell delicious.

Then the corn.  Like the chicken, I started it in the broiler and finished it in the Grill Pan.

Have I told you grilled corn is one of my favorite foods?  It is.

I love, love, love having friends over for dinner parties!  Maybe if I'm super nice to her, Bekah will let me share the recipe for the amazing beer bread she and Jason brought.  The stuff was addictive!

Good times with good friends! Now my heart is all warm and fuzzy, and I need to get the next dinner on the calendar!

That's me with the kabob.  I think I was giddy that I didn't ruin dinner due to completely switching gears at the last minute.  How cool is it that my husband will still pose with me when I'm cradling a stinking chicken kabob?  He's the best!

Happy grilling, be it indoor, outdoor, or anything in between!
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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Blue Cheese Coleslaw

Guess what?  I hate blue cheese.  Guess what else?  I love this coleslaw.  I don't know how that happens, but I'm pretty sure this is one of my favorite side dishes now.  When my brother and his family moved from Memphis to Birmingham, I started eating at their house a good bit.  I mean, I was single, and I wasn't cooking a whole lot.  Then there was my sister-in-law Shannon and her knack for finding good recipes, so why would I ever turn down an invitation?  (Of course my adorable niece and nephews had nothing to do with my being there so much...)  One meal in particular blew my mind: beef brisket with homemade bbq sauce, some kind of salad, and blue cheese coleslaw.  I don't know - maybe I was just really hungry that night, but yeah, I went pretty nuts on everything.  When my husband and I recently accepted a dinner invitation that involved grilling burgers, I knew the time was right to try my own hand at Shannon's masterpiece.

Blue Cheese Coleslaw

2 pounds cabbage, shredded (I used coleslaw mix.)
8 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp. celery seeds
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
2 tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup minced onion
3/4 cup vegetable oil

In a large bowl, toss cabbage and blue cheese together.  Chill one hour.
Whisk remaining ingredients in a separate bowl.  Chill one hour.
Toss together just before serving.
Serves 8-10

Note: I cut the recipe in half to serve 4-5.
Shannon got this recipe from Treebeards, a restaurant she enjoys.

The original recipe serves 8-10, but I decided to cut that in half.  What happens when you want half of 1 1/2 teaspoons of celery seed?  The Adjustable Measuring Spoon does 3/4 tsp.!  How awesome is that?  The above ingredients are organized on the Cutting Board using the Scoop 'n Measure, Measuring Spoons, an Adjustable Measuring Spoon, and an Easy Read Measuring Cup.  I always do this before adding anything to a mixing bowl because I can avoid this scenario: Add a few things.  Phone rings.  Answer.  Don't remember if I already added the sugar/salt/etc.  When it's all right in front of you, you're less likely to make mistakes.

Again, cutting the recipe in half, I ended up with an awkward measurement.  I needed half of 3/4 cup of oil.  Guess what?  This Easy Read Measuring Cup shows that 3/4 cup is 6 oz., so I can just measure to... 3 oz. It's the little things!

This never gets old.  If you don't have the Garlic Press, stop what you're doing, call me, and order one.  You don't have to peel the garlic!

Cabbage mixture + blue cheese = Get ready for awesome!

The cabbage/blue cheese mixture is in the Medium Stainless Mixing Bowl, and everything else is whisked in the Small Stainless Mixing Bowl.  I used a Bamboo Spatula and the Mini Stainless Whisk to get these mixed to perfection.

This is a beautiful, refreshing, adult side dish that you can be proud to take to your next gathering.  The fact that it's insanely easy to put together is just a bonus.  Let me know if you make it!

Like the products used?
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E-mail me: chefjennylyn[at]
Call me up: (205) 585-2464